Environment

Could Beavers Help Washington State Save Big Money?

| by Sierra Club

If a new proposal gains support, Washington state could enlist
the help of several hundred thousand big-toothed, furry mammals to
manage the region's water, reports Sightline Daily.

With climate change causing mountain snow to melt earlier in the
spring, Washington's rivers are low on water by mid-summer, threatening
farmers and causing problems for fall salmon runs.
To store more of the spring runoff, the state ecology department has
proposed the construction of three large dams, which would carry hefty
price tags for taxpayers. 

The Lands Council, a Washington-based nonprofit, has come up with a counter proposal: Let beavers do the work. Native to the area but overhunted back when beaver pelts were in vogue, the Washington beaver has a population around 400,000.

The Lands Council hopes to more than double that number by reintroducing beavers into key areas. The council is hosting a Working Beavers Forum
at the end of March to discuss the proposal. Will Washington state
residents take kindly to the idea?

While some people consider the
industrious builders to be pests, worldwide supporters of the animal praise its ecological benefits and encourage peaceful coexistence between humans and beavers.

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